Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Top 10 Tuesday - VBS Edition

10 Things to Love About Vacation Bible School:

1. It's only once a year. For five days. The older folks like to talk about when VBS meant two weeks. I take that as evidence the older generation was crazy. (Not really. But I'm very happy that tradition ended before my time.) Our "school" is in the evenings, which is something that has changed just since Philip and I moved here. I know some places still have morning VBS but our experience is, if you have a van or bus ministry to reach children whose parents do not bring them to church, asking a kid to be ready for a van at eight thirty in the morning IN THE SUMMER is not conducive to good attendance. Another plus with an evening VBS: more men around to help. If you think kids behave just as well for a group of women, then you haven't worked with kids very long. [/know it all tone]

2. The songs. Come on, who doesn't love a chance to sing a song at the top of your lungs every once in awhile? "Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu-JAH!" Plus, it's fun to watch the boys and girls get mixed up on whose turn it is to stand up.
3. The food. Our church serves little debbie snack cakes and kool-aid that, generally speaking, usually tastes acceptable. {wink} The church where I grew up served the usual cookies and Kool-Aid but also served watermelon on Thursdays and Snow Cones on Friday. (Clearly, the church where I grew up knew how to throw an awesome VBS.)

4. The chance to share the gospel five days in a row. The chance to introduce kids who have never heard this stuff to something that could really change their lives.
5. The games: the older kids revel in dodgeball. The younger kids, well, I'm not sure what the younger kids play (I'm not sure they know either!) but they appear to love it.

6. The penny offering. Boys against girls. Classic match-up. Never loses its appeal.The girls tend to win at our church, not least of all because we have three girls (Lili doesn't participate yet) who take it very seriously and save their own pennies all year for this. So we kind of throw off the numbers. (One VBS child attending our Bible school once suggested to Philip that we have at least one of our children "be a boy" for Bible school week to even things out.)

7. The emphasis on bringing your Bible, learning a memory verse, and good behavior. I still remember the Bible verses I learned in Bible school. And I love that good behavior point. I tell my girls that it starts before we get to church and I will tell their teachers if they've already lost it that day. Works like a charm. (The teachers would probably never go for it. But the girls don't know that.) Our VBS always has a "store" where kids can spend the points they earn throughout the week. It's mostly inexpensive little toys and candy bars but there are also a few things worth saving your points (like basketballs, nerf footballs, water guns, sprinklers and such). My girls talk together all week about what they plan to buy at the store.

8. The time spent with fellow VBS workers. I love it when so many of our church members are working together on a project. Sure, there are tensions and differences of opinion. Sometimes those become serious issues that must be dealt with (or put off until later), but it's all for a great cause.

9. VBS is one of the few occasions where our church takes the back parking lot and sets up "moon walks" (or bounce houses or whatever you call those big inflatable bouncing things. See picture of Tigger above for one example)

10. Another generation of children who talk about how much they love VBS, even if their VBS experience isn't as awesome as the one I had when I was a child. {ahem} Children who love and anticipate going to church make my heart happy.

One thing that doesn't make my list: the crafts. Oh, the crafts. Our curriculum seemed to just phone it in this year: the recommended crafts were basically a no go for us (I believe the word I heard was "lame"). But I'll tell you a little secret: I'm anti-craft in general. Sunday School. Summer Camp. VBS. A week with their Mem. It all has to be dealt with. I have four little girls - our house would be filled to the roof with crafts if I wasn't ruthless about this subject. (Sorry, all you dedicated teachers, grandparents, and crafty mavens.)

Do you have VBS memories?  Share 'em in the comments!
This post is linked to Top 10 Tuesday at Oh Amanda.

11 comments:

Alle said...

This is my first year in 5 not volunteering at our VBS...I've choreographed the music for and led our church's VBS Worship Crew for those years and it has been an incredible joy! I'm gonna miss those 600 smiling faces - just bubbling with excitement over singing God's praise and learning how much He loves them.

Elisabeth said...

Our VBS will never, ever be as awesome as VBS when I was growing up!! I always give lots of ideas about "what we did when I was growing up." The kids these days don't know all the songs we sang at VBS and church camp or the games we played. Church camp and VBS are some of my favorite memories.....

adjunctmom said...

I was always doing the "grand tour" of VBS's including the one in my grandmother's town during the summer. I was crushed when our church didn't have VBS, but now it does. They're really into super-boxed curriculum, though, and I'm not sure how much of that is sticking with my son. Guess we'll see.

And I'm partnered with you in hating crafts. I've started taking pictures of them and throwing them away when he's not looking.

adjunctmom said...

I was always doing the "grand tour" of VBS's including the one in my grandmother's town during the summer. I was crushed when our church didn't have VBS, but now it does. They're really into super-boxed curriculum, though, and I'm not sure how much of that is sticking with my son. Guess we'll see.

And I'm partnered with you in hating crafts. I've started taking pictures of them and throwing them away when he's not looking.

adjunctmom said...

I was always doing the "grand tour" of VBS's including the one in my grandmother's town during the summer. I was crushed when our church didn't have VBS, but now it does. They're really into super-boxed curriculum, though, and I'm not sure how much of that is sticking with my son. Guess we'll see.

And I'm partnered with you in hating crafts. I've started taking pictures of them and throwing them away when he's not looking.

Karin said...

Wonderful memories of VBS as I was growing up. Then got promoted to teaching VBS. When we were a young pastor's family in Massachusetts, during hubby's studies, they had never heard of VBS. Unbelievable! We got VBS rolling - a huge success - and I understand from our friends with whom we still keep in touch, that they have done VBS every summer since then! That's too cool!

Vicky said...

I couldn't believe that the church here in NC had NEVER had VBS!!! That has to be sacrilegious or something! We do now! The penny contest between the boys and girls has got to be the all time favorite competition!

Lisa said...

I love the list, but I was especially tickled by the picture. What is Sweet Pea wearing?!? Those crazy girls...how I miss them :)

Amy said...

Two weeks!?! Oh my.

And now I am seriously contemplating bouncy houses and snow cones. Not sure I can rustle up either in just 10 days. There's always next year, right? ;)

Diane said...

VBS has always been a huge part of our summers. I attended as a child and my children attended until they got to old. I have volunteered and been in charge of the whole event. Lots of great memories. This is the first year that our small church will not be hosting a VBS. Kind of sad.
Blessings
Diane

"Gram" said...

I'll take the credit - or blame - for the "lame" comment. However, I DO like to do crafts if for no other reason than to have something else to do with the kiddos!

I think it only fair to warn you that I'm planning to do crafts with Sweet Pea at camp for the same reason. :)

And I was talking to the girls today about making decorative flip-flops. I dare say you won't throw those away!!!!

Post a Comment

I promise to be candid and you can be too. Blogging is best when it's a conversation. Thanks for taking the time to read this post and respond. I enjoy hearing what you have to say.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.